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A change to our submissions policy

slush pile

Today we made a sad decision: having been open to unsolicited manuscripts (which means anyone can send a book to us so that we can consider whether we want to publish it) for nearly seven years now (since Nosy Crow opened shop), we have had to say, today, that we Just Can’t Cope. So now you can’t send an unsolicited book to us directly… or, if you do, we won’t be able to look at it.

Next year – and we’re working editorially on books for next year and beyond – we are publishing around 100 books, and our hands are pretty full with that endeavour. Our first duty is to publish, as well as we can, those authors and illustrators to whom we have already made a commitment.

We’ve recently been receiving anywhere between 10 to 50 manuscripts or book proposals a day from members of the public (as opposed to agents, who send us stuff too), and we are simply failing to get back to people.

We make this decision really reluctantly, partly because we want to be as open and accessible as a company as we can be, and partly because there’s sometimes really good stuff to be found in the slush-pile (that is, the texts received as unsolicited submissions): Paula Harrison and Helen Peters are both authors who were unagented at the time they sent in their books to us, and we are very proud and pleased to have published them successfully. More recently, we signed up Frances Stickley from the slush-pile. She’s a picture book author, who has just won a short story writing prize run by National Literacy Trust.

We’re aiming to get through our slush-pile backlog, but if you haven’t heard back from us within six months of having sent your submission, you should assume we aren’t going to take on your book.

We’ll review where we stand on this in the New Year, when the big lump of editorial work we are labouring on at the moment may have diminished a little.

If you’d like to find out if we re-open to unsolicited manuscripts and book proposals, you can sign up to our books newsletter here, and we’ll share the news with our newsletter subscribers. I hope we can do so.

Meanwhile, good luck with your writing and other creative work! If you get yourself an agent, we’d be happy to look at what you’re doing.

And if you’re an un-agented BAME author with a fiction submission (ie, not a picture book or non-fiction text), you can still send this directly to our commissioning fiction editor Tom Bonnick, who’s looking for BAME voices – you can find out more here.

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